DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 26, 2002) -- Kerry Hitt has combined his racing wisdom and determination to claim the points lead in the Rolex Series American GT driver standings. After placing fifth in the team point standings in 2001, Hitt's ACP...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 26, 2002) -- Kerry Hitt has combined his racing wisdom and determination to claim the points lead in the Rolex Series American GT driver standings. After placing fifth in the team point standings in 2001, Hitt's ACP Motorsports is now only three points out of the lead in the class team standings as well. With a team comprised of mostly weekend volunteers, Hitt has remained consistent, which could prove to be the winning solution.
After kicking off the 2002 season with a fourth-place finish in the AGT class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Hitt and the ACP team headed to Homestead and improved to a third-place finish. Hitt's consistency throughout the season finally paid off at the VIR 500 where he and his co-drivers of the #19 Corvette captured their first victory of 2002. It marked the first victory for both Hitt and his team in the Rolex series. But the driver/team owner hopes its is only the first of many as he looks to the future.
Series - Rolex Sports Car Series
Class - American GT
Team - ACP Motorsports
Car - #19 Corvette
Date of Birth - November 23, 1946
Birthplace - Harrisburg, Pa.
Marital Status - Married to wife Jeanne
Website - www.acpmotorsports.com
2002 AGT FINISHES
* Rolex 24 - 4th
* Nextel 250 - 3rd
* California 400 - 2nd
* United Auto Parts 200 - 6th
* Six Hours of the Glen - 6th
* Jani-King Paul Revere 250 - 7th
* Bully Hill Vineyards 250 - 5th
* VIR 500 - 1st
* 6 Heures de Mont-Tremblant - 2nd
IN HIS OWN WORDS...
What do you feel is the most challenging part of racing?
The preparation of the car is the most challenging. If that's not done properly then you don't do well.
What do you think has been the most exciting part of the 2002 season?
The most exciting part is just the fun and challenge of racing. The one we won at VIR was exciting. In qualifying we avoided a potential disaster, which could have been the end to our weekend, and we came back from that and won.
Which track is your favorite? Why?
My all-time favorite track is Bridgehampton, which we no longer race at. But after seeing Mont-Tremblant, I really enjoy it. Mont-Tremblant is the most beautiful, and yet it was so challenging and well designed. When you put in a good lap there you really feel like you've done something. I just can't say enough about the town and the people in Mont-Tremblant.
When did you begin racing? When did you know that you wanted to pursue racing professionally?
It was about 35 years ago now. I started with the Pennsylvania Hill Climb Association and later spent a number of years with the Trans-Am series. My dream was to run professionally. Now I think Grand American is doing a great job of realizing what we need.
Did your family support your decision to start racing? What did they think?
My dad thought it was a lot of foolishness. I thought that was how he felt for a long time, but later a friend that worked with him told me how proud he actually was.
If you could partner with any driver in any series for one race, who would it be and what race would you team in?
It's not a tough call on the track; it would be Mont-Tremblant. But, I couldn't choose between my co-drivers because they are both great. We make a great team.
What goals have you set for yourself?
We are looking to take the green flag and checkered flags in our last race. Our chassis is a 12-year-old chassis, so by next year we will have another. We have made the car dependable and that is why we were able to stay where we are. We also hope to be running a Daytona Prototype by the end of next year.
How does it feel to be leading the AGT driver point standings with only one race left in the 2002 season?
We are under a tremendous amount of pressure. The driver championship is ours to lose, but we are looking for the team championship. The Morgan-Dollar team is a great team, and they are good people. We'll help each other out in the pits and be friends, but when the green flag drops they are our competition. There is comradery in the series and that is one reason I keep coming back.
Do you have any superstitions?
Not really. Things are just going to happen. However, at VIR it was really wet and my shoes were soaked. So right before I got into the car I put on an old pair of blue driver's shoes that don't even match and we won the race. So at Mont-Tremblant the guys wanted the blue shoes, so I wore them and we finished second in our class.
What kind of advice would you give to a young up-and-coming driver?
The best thing for a young driver to do is to drive to the best of his ability and not to let his ego take over. You also have to be able to get along with people.
What are your plans for the off-season?
The off-season really isn't that long, but we plan to go to the islands and just get away for a while.
What do you do in your free time?
I don't really have much free time between work and spending time on the car, but I like spending time with Jeanne. We like to kick back and watch a movie and sometimes go to the theater in New York, just little day trips.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
In racing I got the most from Jerre Stahall. He taught me how to look at things correctly and how you put the combination together to make it work.
Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
Thanks for the support, and we will do the best we can to have the fans follow the races. I look forward to the years coming.